Monday, January 30, 2017
Sharp practices at GoDaddy ISP
GoDaddy have recently opened up a branch in Australia. It was not a good day for Australia.
I signed up just over a year ago for an Australian GoDaddy internet hosting service. The price they were charging for a year was really low ($12.25) and, though I looked for a declaration that it was an initial offer only, I found no such declaration. Just recently, however, they rebilled me for another year of service at a very high price ($131.88). I did not authorize that but there may be somewhere in their terms and conditions a declaration that they automatically re-bill. I certainly had no knowledge of that.
They did email me a fortnight in advance that they were going to make the debit so I tried to contact them to forbid it. Nowhere however did they give either an email or a physical address to contact them. They just gave a phone no. Odd that an internet company insists on using old technology only to talk to its customers! Do they have no trust in their own product?
The phone no. however seemed always to be so busy that even a long wait led nowhere so I wrote to the GoDaddy HQ in Texas a few weeks before any renewal came up. I forbad them to debit me again. No response.
I have asked the bank to reverse the debit so we will see what comes of that -- JR.
Cut tax or we'll be stranded, warns Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison has warned that Australia is now facing the real risk of being globally stranded by crippling taxes that would erode the nation's living standards if the government continues to be blocked politically from its company tax reforms.
In a speech today to business leaders in London, the Treasurer will lay down the challenge to parliament that unless Australia follows the example of Britain, which cut its tax rate to 20 per cent while in a worse budget position, then it will rapid-ly lose its competitive place in the world.
In a bid to escalate pressure on the Senate crossbench to support the government's plan to cut the company tax to 25 per cent, Mr Morrison said Labor would have to wear the responsibility for Australian businesses left behind as other countries moved to a lower tax environment.
Despite boasting the ninth-lowest corporate tax rate among OECD countries 15 years ago, Australia was now heading toward-s a competition and investment crisis, as it was now among the five top-taxing nations and was 22nd in terms of its competitiveness, Mr Morrison said.
"If both the parliament and the Labor Party choose not to support keeping Australian businesses competitive, then we run the great risk of stranding our businesses and the jobs that rely on them, as our competitors and friends continue to move on," the Treasurer told The Australian from London ahead of his speech.
"We simply cannot afford, as the UK understood at the time of one of their greatest economic crises-, to not go ahead."
Drawing the comparison with Britain, which plans to further cut taxes to 17 per cent by 2020, the Treasurer said Australia must counter a vicious cycle of stagnating growth and eroding living standards from higher taxes and falling investment.
"So with much of the world looking to stimulate investment and growth through more competitive- tax rates, Australia, as a net importer of capital, risks falling behind and becoming uncompetitive," he will tell the London meeting. "Many countries we're competing with for investment have more attractive corporate tax rates, and are looking to further- reduce them.
"We need to coax capital out of its cave."
US President Donald Trump wants to cut the US corporate tax rate from 35 per cent to 15 per cent.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon said yesterday that he had not closed the door to the totality of the government's tax plan, having already said he would support the first phase for businesses with turnover of less than $10 million.
But he wanted the government to address manufacturing job -losses in southern states first. "I'm saying we will talk to you, but we will talk to you first about industry policy which will have a more -direct impact," he told The Australian.
Labor and the Greens have ruled out supporting the tax cuts, claiming the budget cannot afford them and that there is no evidence that would stimulate econo-mic growth or investment.
Labor's Treas-ury spokesman Chris Bowen last month described- the ability of the government-'s proposed tax cuts to stimulate more investment as a "wing and a prayer".
This is despite Mr Bowen also championing the British model in 2013, when it faced a tougher fiscal situation than Australia.
Mr Morrison cited the need for tax reform, based on regional areas of Australia that he said were already feeling the effect of slower than hoped for investment.
"Post our mining investment boom, investment capital is still not flowing sufficiently to drive the economic activity needed to lift incomes and in particular address- the economic dislocation in areas and regions most adversel-y impacted by our economic transition," he will say.
"Australia needs to encourage business investment to promote economic growth, support job security and employment growth as well as improve living standards.
"The OECD has found that corporate income taxes are the most harmful major tax when it comes to economic growth.
"Research clearly shows that increasing tax on employers lowers economic growth and therefore lowers standards of living."
The Treasurer countered Labor's claims that tax cuts would do nothing for economic growth, using the British model, which he described as a "burning platform of reform" that reignited its economy and boosted investment by 25 per cent.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has been negotiating with crossbench senators over the summer in an effort to convince them to support the government's bill for its Enterprise Tax Plan.
Legislation is yet to be introduced, but Mr Morrison has said the full plan would go to parliament unchanged.
The $48 billion plan will phase in cuts to the company tax rate from 30 per cent to 25 per cent by 2026-27. Initially, this would see a reduction to 27.5 per cent for businesses with turnover of less than $10m.
British modelling has suggested that its cuts to 20 per cent from 28 per cent will result in a permanent increase in investment of up to 4.5 per cent over a 20-year period-, or more than $11bn.
Mr Morrison said his Treasury modelling predicts that a 25 per cent rate in Australia would result in a permanent increase in business investment of up to 2.9 per cent, or $6.5bn.
"Our 10-year enterprise plan begins by reducing taxes for small and medium-sized enterprises, leading to a flat tax rate of 25 per cent for all companies," he will say in his speech.
"Now this does not go as far as has already been achieved here in the UK, where corporate tax rates have already dropped from 28 per cent to 19 per cent, and are scheduled to fall further to 17 per cent.
"What is more impressive is that these cuts began in 2010 under prime minister (David) Cameron, in the aftermath of the financial crisis and a budget deficit of around 10 per cent of GDP.
"Some have argued that Australia can't afford tax cuts. The UK government, in a far weaker and more vulnerable fiscal position than Australia, took the view they could not afford not to.
"Lower tax rates have supported a steady and sustained recovery in business investment in the UK, increasing nearly 25 per cent in the six years to March 2016.''
Resigning Fair Work chief blasts Leftist system
Tony Abbott believes the resignation of one of the Fair Work Commission's most senior members shows the workplace umpire is "pro-union and anti-jobs".
Graeme Watson has launched a scathing attack on the commission in his resignation letter revealed in Monday's Australian Financial Review. "There is an increasing understanding in the business community that the Fair Work Commission is partisan, dysfunctional and divided," the FWC vice-president wrote.
The former prime minister said the resignation was unprecedented.
"(This) shows that the FWC (former workplace minister Bill) Shorten created is pro-union and anti-jobs," Mr Abbott said.
Commission president Iain Ross in a statement said he had been informed Mr Watson had written to the governor-general tendering his resignation with effect from February 28.
"I thank the vice president for his service to the commission and wish him well in his future endeavours," Mr Ross said.
Mr Watson, who has been a member of the commission since June 2006, said in his letter it become clear the workplace system "is actually undermining the objects of the Fair Work legislation".
"I do not consider that the system provides a framework for co-operative and productive workplace relations and I do not consider that it promotes economic prosperity or social inclusion. Nor do I consider it can be described as balanced."
Mr Watson is a former Freehills lawyer who represented Patrick stevedores in the 1998 waterfront dispute.
Australian Industry Group chief Innes Willox said Mr Watson would be a big loss to the Fair Work Commission.
"(His) knowledge of business, his understanding of the imperatives of business competitiveness, his knowledge of the law, and his practical and fair approach, will be sorely missed," Mr Willox said in a statement.
The resignation letter showed the need for the government to overhaul the law relating to enterprise agreements, business transfers and unfair dismissal, in line with a report by the Productivity Commission.
Young Sikh boy, five, forced to change schools because he was not allowed to wear his turban to class
I think highly of Sikhs. They successfully withstood the Muslims for 1,000 years. So I see this ban as ignorant if it is based on religious prejudice. It may however be a matter of uniform policy. If one exception to the policy is allowed, it may undermine the whole policy -- producing exception requests on all sorts of grounds
A five-year-old boy has been forced to change schools because he was not allowed to wear a turban that was part of this religion.
Sidhak Singh Arora really wanted to attend Melton Christian College in Melbourne's north-west. But his patka, a turban for young Sikh boys with long hair, was an issue.
His father, Sagardeep Singh Arora, said it was unfortunate his son could not attend the best school in Melton. 'I really feel bad, and disappointed, because I thought this is a modern society, how can a kid not go to the school of his choice, just because he is wearing a religious clothing?,' he told SBS News.
'My son really wanted to go to that school. 'This is one of the best schools over there, I say the best school in the Melton area.'
The boy's father said the patka, which he puts on his son's head every morning, wasn't a fashion accessory. 'You have to keep your hair covered all the time,' he said. 'It's not like a fashion, or accessory for us, it's like a basic principle of our religion.'
The boy's family has taken his case to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal and the school principal declined to comment. A hearing date has been scheduled for April.
Australia's 'fairy possum' faces uncertain future
There's a bit of unproven BS about climate change below but the article seems otherwise to be factual
A tiny possum, the faunal emblem of the state of Victoria in Australia, is rapidly heading towards extinction, say scientists.
Researchers say the creature, nicknamed the fairy possum, is suffering under a combination of logging, fires and climate change.
In a study, they argue that increasing the size of reserves would help the possum but would damage other species.
The research has been published in the journal Plos One.
There are estimated to be just 2,000 of the tiny Leadbeater's Possums left in the Central Highland forests of the state of Victoria - the only area where they are found.
The animals, "about the size of a tub of margarine", spend most of their lives living and nesting in hollowed out trees that are up to 200 years old.
"When fires burn in an old growth forest, it produces these big dead trees that the animal likes to nest in," said Prof David Lindenmayer from the Australian National University, and one of the authors of the new study.
"But fires in a young forest don't produce that pulse of old dead trees - the big problem now is that less that 1.1% of the entire forest estate is dominated by these big old trees and it used to be up to 60%."
Major fires in Victoria in 2009 eliminated large numbers of the animals and their habitat.
The complex interplay of fire, rising temperatures and industrial timber felling may see the end of the "fairy possum" as it's sometimes called, within 20 years.
"In the past logging took out the big trees and created young forests, but to our horror we've discovered in the last few years that forests that regenerate after logging are significantly more likely to burn at much higher severity," said Prof Lindenmayer.
"So logging and fire are not independent - and climate change and fire are not independent either, with increasing temperatures, reduced rainfall, increased lightning and wind, we're seeing more fire in this system."
With colleagues, Prof Lindenmayer set out to examine if increasing the size of reservations for Leadbeater's Possum would benefit the species. But it is not a simple equation. While there would be advantages, these would likely accrue at the expense of other vulnerable animals.
To ensure the best survival chances of all creatures in the region, would require a fundamental change, says Prof Lindenmayer.
"The price really is to move the logging industry into plantations and out of native forests," he told BBC News.
"These animals have survived for 20 million years without logging but over the past 50 years they have become critically endangered because of human interference with this ecosystem."
"If we want to conserve all of these different animals we need to take logging out of the system."
Prof Lindenmayer is at a loss to explain just how the species acquired its nickname.
"I never call it the fairy possum, I always call it Leadbeater's Possum, when you handle them they've got some real spunk, they'll bite and scratch that's their way of fighting off predators, so it is anything but fairy like!"
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here